Why Newcastle should make sure Holland can Kruse into town

Declan Payne Roar Rookie

By , Declan Payne is a Roar Rookie

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    With the Australian football world currently in the midst of the annual A-League squad cleanout, clubs are in a feeding frenzy as they look to poach the best of the rest.

    However, some news out of China will have sent shockwaves through the recruitment plans of clubs across the country – Socceroos Robbie Kruse and James Holland have terminated their tenure at Chinese Super League club Liaoning Whowin over contractual disputes.

    Sydney FC have been prompt in locking down much of their double-winning squad for next season, and along with Melbourne City and Victory have their marquees tied down for the coming season which will limit their ability to land the signatures of the Socceroos duo.

    The current anchors of the league, the Newcastle Jets, haven’t had a marquee player since English cult hero Emile Heskey last graced the league in the 2013-14 season.

    With Martin Lee making big declarations at the beginning of his tenancy as the club’s owner (and falling well short last season), a marquee signing or two and a sharp rise up the table will be high on new manager Ernie Merrick’s wish list.

    So, let’s kill two birds with one stone – James Holland and Robbie Kruse to Newcastle?

    It sounds preposterous, given the reputations of the two players and the outrageous money they were likely on in China.

    Holland is a former Jet; he played as an 18-year-old in the 2007-08 winning side and would provide some invaluable experience alongside the aspirational Steven Ugarkovic at the base of the Newcastle midfield.

    Kruse would fill the void (and then some) left by the departure of Andrew Hoole, would complement the talents of Andrew Nabbout and perhaps take some of the pressure off his back.

    The pair are likely to have struck up a rapport as they’ve crossed paths in Socceroos camps and club careers, so why not target the two at once?

    It would be the perfect investment to reinvigorate a desperately disenfranchised Newcastle football community, give Merrick some proven quality to build his squad around, and attract some more quality to Newcastle.

    If the Jets and Martin Lee are serious about dragging themselves from the foot of the ladder and into the position to qualify for Asian Champions League football in the coming years, there would be no better place to start than with the signatures of a duo with 65 Socceroos caps between them.

    Just get it done, Newcastle.